Introduction: Mind-body awareness is often viewed as an outcome of using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Emerging evidence suggests that mind-body awareness may be an intermediate outcome that contributes to CAM-related outcomes. The current study aimed to WA a model of mind-body awareness as an intermediate outcome of CAM use via provider autonomy support that facilitates quality of life and health behaviour changes.
Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 243, M age = 23.5, 84% female) screened for current CAM use, completed an online survey including questions about their CAM use, perceived outcomes from use of CAM, a measure of CAM provider autonomy support, and a new 8-item measure of Mind-body Awareness (MBA).
Results: Bivariate analyses confirmed that those with high MBA had higher scores on positive CAM-related health behaviour (diet, weight loss, exercise) and quality of life (sleep quality, mood, energy levels, concentration) changes. Path analysis controlling for demographics and health status tested the proposed model of CAM use predicting provider autonomy support, and in turn MBA and two CAM-related outcomes. The model fit well to the data, CFI = 0.94, TLI = 0.91, RMSEA = 0.03, supporting the hypotheses that CAM use is associated with higher MBA via increased autonomy support, and MBA contributes to quality of life and health behaviour changes.
Conclusions: Findings extend previous research on mind-body awareness by linking it to CAM-related quality of life and behavioural outcomes in a sample of young adult CAM consumers, and further suggest a route through which provider support may enhance CAM outcomes.